Asbestos is a white, crystalline, fibrous mineral that is known to be highly resilient, as it can withstand extreme heat, potent chemicals and high amounts of electricity. Given such properties, since the 1860s, manufacturers and builders have been using asbestos in a variety of materials, equipment and parts, including:
brake and clutch pads
cements and spackle
furnaces and kilns
Dangers of Asbestos Exposure
Despite its versatility and durability, however, asbestos particles—when airborne and ingested—are extremely hazardous. Long-term exposure to asbestos is known to cause a range of severe, potentially fatal health problems, including:
Asbestosis, a respiratory condition marked by chest pain, coughing and breathing problems
Mesothelioma, a rare, deadly malignancy affecting the outer lining of the lungs, the inner lining of the abdomen and/or the outer lining of the heart
Lung and other cancers
Without immediate and long-term treatments, including surgery and chemotherapy, these asbestos side effects will be fatal. Due to such health risks, in 1989, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned any new uses of asbestos, meaning that this mineral could only be used in manners developed prior to 1989.
Risk Factors for Asbestos Health Problems
Those who are most likely to develop serious asbestos-related conditions include individuals who are regularly exposed to asbestos particles at work or at home. In fact, a study conducted in 1978 found that:
10 percent of workers exposed to asbestos for 10 to 19 years developed serious asbestos-related health complications
73 percent of workers exposed to asbestos for 20 to 29 years developed serious asbestos-related health complications
92 percent of workers exposed to asbestos for more than 40 years developed serious asbestos-related health complications
smokers exposed to asbestos had a greater risk than non-smokers of developing serious asbestos-related health complications
Compensation for Asbestos-Related Conditions
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis or another asbestos-related illness, you will likely be entitle to seek and recover compensation for your injuries and losses. To schedule a free and private consultation with an experienced and compassionate asbestos attorney, please contact Gacovino, Lake and Associates today.
At Gacovino, Lake and Associates, we are passionate about defending the rights of those who have been severely injured as a result of asbestos exposure. Our skilled attorneys have a proven track record of recovering millions of dollars for our clients. We are highly familiar with asbestos and its dangers and have the knowledge, experience and resources necessary to help you.